Fundamental Human Movements Reps and Sets Load Sadly, I think this is the correct order that we should approach weightlifting.
First, we need to establish the correct postures and patterns, then work around reasonable “numbers” of movements in a training session. Sadly, the industry—and I am guilty of this as well—has switched the order and made a 500 pound dead lift the “answer” to improving one’s game or cutting some fat.
But, please don’t think any of that is going to improve your skill set or your long term ability to do anything from sports to simply aging gracefully. At the HK, we learn what I consider to be the key patterns to human movement: the swing, the goblet squat and the get-up.
The HD has two ends: the swing and the goblet squat. They are the same—but different—in their ability to remind the body of the most powerful movements it can perform.
The get-up (not the “Turkish sit-up” as I often note) is a one-stop course in the basics of every human movement from rolling and hinging to lunging and locking out. So, the HK covers basic human movements in a way that is unlike any other system or school.
As I often argue, add the push-up and, honestly, you might be “done.” Here are the basics of proper training: Training sessions should put you on the path of progress towards your goals.
I have a simple answer for most people: control your repetitions. In teaching the get-up, or when using this wonderful lift as a tool to discover your body, keep the reps “around” ten.
The goblet squat seems to lock in around 15-25 reps per workout. 10 Swings 5 Goblet squats (put the bell down between your feet under control) Inchworm out to the push-up position (walk on your hands) 5 Push-ups Inchworm back to starting position 10 Swings 4 Goblet squats (put the bell down between your feet under control) Inchworm out to the push-up position (walk on your hands) 4 Push-ups Inchworm back to starting position 10 Swings 3 Goblet squats (put the bell down between your feet under control) Inchworm out to the push-up position (walk on your hands) 3 Push-ups Inchworm back to starting position 10 Swings 2 Goblet squats (put the bell down between your feet under control) Inchworm out to the push-up position (walk on your hands) 2 Push Ups Inchworm back to starting position 10 Swings 1 Goblet squat (put the bell down between your feet under control) Inchworm out to the push-up position (walk on your hands) 1 Push-up Inchworm back to starting position
One of the great insights, among many, that I picked up at the ROC is the idea of doing twenty swings with one kettle bell and ten swings with two kettle bells. After doing literally hundreds of swings a day, I noted that my technique held up fine in that ten and twenty range.
It is the basic teaching of sports: don’t let quantity influence quality. I usually call these the “Punch the Clock” workouts and I think they are the key to staying in the game.
Tim Ferris, ASCII, tells us in his excellent book, The Four Hour Body that there is a minimum effective dose (MED) of everything fitness related. Doing the little “Humane Burpee” with a big kettle bell is a killer workout.
When you look at movement first, then reps, then for whatever reason, the loading makes more sense too. In a one-day course, we learn and do (a lot of “do”) the three core movements of the kettle bell world.
Prepping for the HK is not as complex or deep as the three-day ROC. Showing up “in shape” and ready to learn would be ideal, but I would also recommend include some additional mobility work and perhaps some work on the hinge, squat and some basic rolling to prep for the event.
The time you spend prepping for the event pales in comparison to what you do AFTER the HK. I always send along the following Twenty-Day Program to guide our attendees deeper along the ROC path.
From there, I show the one arm press and introduce the kettle bell clean. I trained for the ROC with clean and press, swings and what I thought were snatches at the time.
Fresh from a new learning experience, there is always a tendency to want to do everything at once. But that approach is tough to do and fraught with long and short term issues.
The first twenty days after the HK experience should be a time to strive for mastering the movements and training the positions. Don’t add speed and volume to poor movements—take your time to practice.
These will provide the groundwork for a solid base. It is generally a good idea to go through some mobility drills especially for these areas:
Neck Shoulders Thoracic mobility Hips Each week, take one day to do a full “toes to top” mobility workout.
It is recommended that you do the hip flexor stretch during each warm up and cool down period; it can be done very well with an easy set of goblet squats. 15 Two hand swings 1 Goblet squat Ten reps of high knees “March in Place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to two minutes) Do this for a total of 3 rounds.
15 Two hand swings 1 Goblet squat 10 Reps of high knees “march in place” (each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to 2 minutes) For a total of 3 rounds Goblet squat: Several sets of 5 with a pause at the bottom
15 Two hand swings One goblet squat 10 Reps of high knees “march in place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to 2 minutes) For a total of 5 rounds 15 Two hand swings One goblet squat 10 Reps of high knees “march in place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to 2 minutes) For a total of 10 rounds
15 Two hand swings 5 Goblet squats 1 Push-up 10 Reps of high knees “march in place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to 2 minutes) For a total of 10 rounds The three movements of the HK Care the core to conditioning, mobility and goal achievement.
Master ROC, Dan John is the author of numerous fitness titles including the best-selling Never Let Go and Easy Strength. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.
Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri. As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems.
Simply fill out the form below and put HKCKettlebell — 10 lbs to work for you right now. With the promise of a full refund if you're unsatisfied, you have nothing to lose by trying HKCKettlebell — 10 lbs.
GiryaGirl.com reader “Montana Bad boy” asked some great questions about the HK and how to prepare for it: Q: It’s possible that an HK training event will be coming close to my area, I am thinking about attending.
I already own a copy of Enter the Kettle bell and have read it many times, in addition to some of Pavel ’s other books, and I train with my 35lb KB every day (swings, one-arm swings, clean and press, get up, snatches, windmills, renegade rows, and high pulls) and do pull ups 5-6 days a week, anything I should really focus on? Hi, the HK is the “entry level” kettle bell certification offered by Dragon Door — you cover the essential basics — which are extremely versatile and effective methods of training to use with your clients, and yourself.
6 Secrets of Hard style Breathing and Relaxation Drills Secrets of Hard style Breathing and Relaxation Drills Quiz: Hard style Breathing Quiz: Relaxation Drills 14 Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Quadrants, Upper Body Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Quadrants Upper Body Quiz: The Hard style Get-Up Quadrants, Upper Body
15 Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Quadrants, Lower Body Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Quadrants Lower Body Quiz: The Hard style Get-Up Quadrants, Lower Body 16 Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Picking Up, Changing Sides, Spotting Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up: Picking Up, Changing Sides and Spotting Quiz: Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Picking Up, Changing Sides and Spotting
17 Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up, Eyes, Breath, Fine Points Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up, Eyes, Breath, Fine Points Quiz: Secrets of the Hard style Get-Up Fine Points, Eyes, Breath 18 Secrets of the Hard style Arm Bar SecretsoftheHardstyleArmBar Quiz: Secrets of the Hard style Arm Bar
20 How to Submit Your Video Test More resources to upgrade your kettle bell instructor skills Before you go... As an incentive to help athletes and coaches build on and evolve their skill-sets, HK certified graduates may deduct $200.00 from a registration for a future ROC certification workshop, within one year of achieving the HK.
Workshop Code # HKC519 Register online or call 1-651-487-2180 for credit card orders. A deep understanding of the true benefits of kettle bell training—for both yourself and your clients A solid knowledge of vital kettle bell training safety procedures A workmanlike grasp of the fundamentals of biomechanics—to ensure your clients move with perfect form and avoid injury A grasp of the key Hairstyle skills and principles of strength The ability to competently perform the three foundational kettle bell exercises (the Swing, the Get-Up, and the Goblet Squat) The confidence you can now correctly teach the three essential kettle bell exercises—and troubleshoot common technique problems The unique HK template for designing an unlimited number of effective kettle bell workouts.
Understand why mastery of the kettle bell swing is fundamental to high-level Hairstyle practice How to develop power through compensatory acceleration and overspend eccentrics How to train hip extension for back and knee health and athletic performance How to employ bracing and neutral spine—for injury prevention, enhanced performance and optimal transmission of force How to recruit the lat as a “core muscle” to improve the spine safety and glute strength How to increase power with the biomechanical breathing match A safe, effective modality for developing different types of endurance Explosive training techniques for more effective fat-loss The dead lift: the most “functional” exercise of all The two-arm swing and corrective exercises The concept of rooting and two key drills for developing it The one-arm swing The hand-to-hand swing Russian relaxation exercises to enhance the acquisition of skillful movement, increase power and endurance The two hundred-year history of the get-up The get-up as an assessment tool The strength and health benefits of the get-up How to correctly perform the get-up and teach corrective drills How to move from mobility to stability, then from stability to strength—and why this progression is crucial for truly effective kettle bell work The get-up, shoulder mobility and stability exercises. The role of the lat in shoulder stability and strength—and advanced lat facilitation techniques How to employ and teach steering strength The concepts of leakage and linkage —and their importance for effective kettle bell lifting How to perform the goblet squat and corrective drills “Strength stretching” for the hips How to overcome gluteal amnesia How to most effectively stretch the hip flexors to dramatically improve athletic performance, back health, and posture How to modify the squat stance for a client with back problems An alternative squat exercise for overweight clients Why “sport specific training” is inappropriate for 99% of the coaches and athletes—and a powerful alternative
Kettle bell safety 101: ten key items The Swing: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills The Get-Up: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills The Goblet Squat: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills HK program design The three key principles of effective training identified by Russian sports scientists: continuity of the training process, waving the loads, and specialized variety, Ten program design tools for an unlimited variety of effective kettle bell workouts: Rep Ladders Weight Ladders Time Ladders Breathing Ladders Reverse Ladders Drop Sets Super Sets Timed Sets Series Active Recovery Exercises Besides having to pass the requisite plank test at the outset of the workshop, each HK candidate will be evaluated for technical proficiency and teaching skills at the end of the workshop and will then be granted either a pass or fail.
If you fail to maintain proper alignment or you drop to your knees, the test is considered a failure. You must be able to demonstrate safe and effective technique as part of being an HK instructor.
Your course instructor will test you on the following exercises in the latter part of the course to ensure that you can perform what you have been taught during the course. The swing is tested using two hands with an appropriate size kettle bell, for 10 reps or more at your instructors’ discretion.
You will use both hands to roll and lift the kettle bell into the starting position as well as pulling it down to your chest at the finish. The goblet squat will be tested holding one kettle bell by the horns in front of your chest, you will be asked to perform 5 reps or more at your instructors’ discretion
Their inclusion reinforces the student’s understanding of HK /ROC principles and should be included in any well-rounded kettle bell program. In addition, proper performance of the Hard style Push up is the Entrance Requirement for the ROC Instructor course.
At the end of the course you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to teach one kettle bell exercise that you learned during the workshop to a fellow student. Excellent Early-Bird Registration Discount: Register and pay by February 13th, fee is only $449.00 (Save $50.00)
When a workshop is cancelled or postponed, candidates will be notified immediately and will receive a complete refund of all workshop fees or be allowed to transfer at no penalty to the new dates or another course of their choosing without penalty. If cancellation is required, Dragon Door is not responsible for any expenses (travel or lodging) incurred beyond the registration fees.
Unlike a treadmill or elliptical, kettle bells probably aren’t going to become an eyesore in the corner of your bedroom and still provide a few heart-pounding workouts. They’re more versatile than the same old hand weights, though, so you can create an exercise regime that’s tailored to your specific fitness goals.
Buying a kettle bell probably doesn’t seem that difficult, but many factors actually affect how well this equipment fits into your workout routine. Finding the right model means knowing what materials to look for, what type of handles best meet your needs, and the proper weight to give you the best workout.
There’s good reason why they’ve become such a popular workout tool in recent years. When you swing them, you can elevate your heart rate quickly and burn up to 20 calories per minute, which is often more than you’d do in a cardio class at the gym.
The workouts utilize smooth, swinging transitions so your shoulders, elbows, and knees don’t take as much of beating as they would with jump training. Kettle bells can be worked into a variety of exercise forms, too, so you can use them with strength and power training, as well as with traditional cardio workouts such as running.
You can easily stash your kettle bells in a closet or under the bed, and still get the same intense workout you’d get from a five-minute sprint. However, the vinyl coating is prone to cracking and peeling, and the weight of the kettle bells is often inaccurate because the iron beneath may contain holes that are filled with another material.
“One-piece cast kettle bells are more durable than two-piece assemblies, as the juncture between the ball and handle is solid and more resistant to cracking.” When the iron is cast for the kettle bells, a seam is left across the center of the handle’s underside.
Higher end brands will file down the seam to create a smooth, even surface. Inexpensive kettle bells often don’t have this seam removed, which leaves a sharp edge that can cut your skin when you grip the handle.
Some exercises may require placing both of your hands around the handle, so you don’t want the fit to be too tight or uncomfortable. While most kettle bells are made of cast-iron or vinyl-coated cast-iron, their handles are available in several types of finishes, including bare iron, enamel, powder coating, and vinyl.
Bare iron provides a good grip, so you don’t have to worry about the equipment flying out of your hands. Powder coating has an even rougher texture, so this type of finish is a good option if you find that your hands get very sweaty during workouts.
Vinyl handles are best avoided because they don’t offer a good grip and have a tendency to crack and peel. Once you’ve chosen a kettle bell with the material, construction, and handles that you prefer, the most important question to answer is what size to get.
If you want an extremely well-made kettle bell that’s comfortable to grip and will stand up to intense workouts, opt for a model that’s approximately $25 to $28. “Exercisers experience an average heart rate of 93% maximum during a kettle bell workout.”
While kettle bells can provide effective aerobic exercise during a workout, they also cause a prolonged anaerobic burn after you’ve completed your routine. A kettle bell workout usually burns approximately 20 calories per minute, which is the equivalent of running at a six-minute mile pace.
For exercise, the Shaolin Monks in China lifted large padlocks that were very similar to modern kettle bells. However, it’s a good idea to have kettle bells in a couple of different weights so you can scale your workout up or down, depending on your goals.
From a weight training perspective, kettle bells can target most of the major muscle groups. Depending on your routine, you can work out your back, shoulders, arms, abs, hips, glutes, obliques, and/or legs.
The frequency of your routine will depend on the intensity of your workout, so it’s a good idea to consult with a trainer or fitness expert for advice. In general, working out every other day is a good average intensity program for beginners.
Meet John Bail, HK certified kettle bell coach John first heard about kettle bells in 2016 while being treated for recurring back pain, when his acupuncturist suggested perusing a copy of Pavel’s SIMPLE AND SINISTER in order to strengthen his back and core.
After some trial and error on his own, he realized he needed professional coaching and sought out Shari Wagner and Iron Clad Fitness, where he has been a member for over three years. John’s consistent training and attention to detail with his technique paid off in February 2019 when he earned his HKCkettlebell certification.
John was an All-American, All-State and All-Conference (Nevada — “A” conference) offensive guard in high school, but his fitness languished for years thereafter until he discovered long-distance running at age 46. Try a FREE week to discover how you can get in the best shape of your life and feel better than ever at Iron Clad Fitness.
During your FREE week, we’ll meet for a consultation to discuss your goals and needs and how we can help transform your body and your life! We’ll meet for a free consultation to discuss your goals and needs and how we can help transform your body and your life!
Resembling mini bowling balls with handles, kettle bells are great for building aerobic capacity and strength. Transference of kettle bell training to strength, power and endurance.
Reps and sets will depend on intensity and your fitness level. For most of these moves, we recommend aiming for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 30 reps with good form.
We suggest starting with a trainer or kettle bell aficionado to make sure everything’s kosher. Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes, legs
How to: To do the perfect kettle bell swing, stand up straight with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart. Grab the handle with both hands, keeping palms face down and arms in front of your body.
Maintain a slight bend in your knees and drive your hips back. Then, in a fluid motion, explosively drive your hips forward while swinging the kettle bell, keeping glutes and core engaged.
Remember: The motion should come from your hips, not your arms, as your body returns to standing. Lower the weight back down between your legs and keep this swinging motion going for 12–15 reps.
Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes, legs Place them in front of your feet and bend your knees slightly.
Next, bend over to grab both kettle bells and pull them toward your stomach, keeping elbows close to body and back straight. Then try this: Start with legs a bit wider than hip width.
Keep this motion going, similar to the classic basketball drill. Stand up straight, holding the kettle bell in front of your chest with both hands, keeping elbows close to body.
How to: Stand with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and turn toes out 45 degrees. Keeping core engaged, begin to squat and grip the kettle bell handle with one hand.
Using force from your hips, push through heels to rise to standing, pulling the kettle bell upward while elbow drives up. Targets: Shoulders, back, arms, abs, glutes, legs
Stand up straight while holding the kettle bell in front of your chest with both hands, arms bent and palms facing each other. Pull the kettle bell to your shoulders while knees straighten and elbows rise.
Remember: The force is coming mostly from your hips, plus your arms pulling at the very end. Keep core engaged the whole time, moving the kettle bell back down by the floor.
Sit with legs bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Hold the kettle bell with both hands at your chest, then lean back to a 45-degree angle.
Here’s the fun part: Rotate your torso from left to right by twisting at your waist and swinging the kettle bell across your body. How to: Despite its name, this move doesn’t require rocks or rubber bands.
Hold the kettle bell in front of your body, arms extended at chest level. How to: Lie on the floor with your legs straight out (nope, it’s not time for savanna).
Grab a kettle bell in one hand, palm facing in, and press the weight straight up while rotating your wrist so your palm faces your feet. Start in a plank position but with your hands grasping two kettle bell handles.
Grab a kettle bell and start with the basic two-handed swing (see move No. Keep sidestepping’ your way to the right (10–15 steps), then head back the other way, leading with your left foot.
Targets: Legs, glutes, arms, back, abs Squat and grab the handle with both hands while keeping your back flat.
Engage core, tighten glutes, and keep arms extended as your body rises on up, kettle bell and all! Grab each handle in the usual push-up starting position, then lower your body before pushing back up.
It’ll definitely feel challenging with those hands on the handles rather than the floor! Targets: Shoulders, back, abs, obliques, hips
How to: Hold the kettle bell in your right hand and angle your feet 45 degrees away from your right arm. Shift your weight onto your right leg and begin bending forward at your waist. Keep right arm extended overhead as your body bends forward and your left arm is pointed toward the floor.
The kettle bell should end in the “rack position,” which means resting on your forearm, tucked close to your body, fist at your chest. Bring the weight back down to the floor and repeat for 10–15 reps.
Then, press the kettle bells up while leaning forward at your waist so the weights are positioned behind your head. Bring them back down to your shoulders and continue pressing for 10–20 reps, depending on the weight you’re using.
How to: Start by cleaning the kettle bell to your shoulder, finishing with palm facing front. Next, bend knees and press the kettle bell overhead while jumping into a split jerk position.
Return to standing while the kettle bell remains overhead, then lower it. Grasp the handle with one hand and explode up onto your toes, pulling the kettle bell until it reaches your chest, with your elbow tucked in.
At the top, lift your right elbow by squeezing your shoulder blades together, with the weight about 6 inches behind your body. Kettle bells are a great way to spice up the usual lifting routine.
As with traditional strength training, two days a week is a great place to start. Don’t hesitate to weave those kettle bells into your standard weightlifting routine, along with dumbbells, body weight exercises, and cardio.
Just remember to give each muscle group a break (48 hours should usually do it). Using proper form is key for a workout that’s safe, effective, and fun!
Her success and humility make her an inspiration to coaches worldwide, especially to females trainers and trainees seeking a positive role model. I have been lucky to work with her occasionally, and am very elated to have her visit our facility to welcome new kettle bell instructors into our ranks.
The 3-day course is grueling and often has only a 70% pass rate due to its stringent testing and high standards. Since then, the HK has proven an effective “opportunity to build a superb and rock-solid foundation as a kettle bell professional” (via DragonDoor).
I have had the pleasure and the honor of assisting at two HK events with Master ROC, and my mentor, Brett Jones. I have seen first hand the drastic improvement in technique and teaching skill of the candidates through the high level of instruction and course material at the HK.